When we first heard the rumors that Sea Shepherd might acquire add the sleek, biodiesel-fueled powerboat called Earthrace to their efforts — we wanted to believe. But seriously, would it be possible? Could an anti-whaling organization land something out of a James Bond movie to further their cause?
Outside the International Whaling Commission meeting in Portugal, Sea Shepherd announced plans for their sixth campaign against Japanese commercial whaling in the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary – Operation Waltzing Matilda. They also revealed the incredible news that the Earthrace will be joining the SS Steve Irwin in this new operation. And yes, it will change from its current silver to the Sea Shepherd’s striking black.
“It looks like a spaceship. It can do 40 knots and dive under waves completely. We’ll be using it to intercept and block harpoons,” said Captain Paul Watson, who earlier this week was arrested (And later released) after entering Portugal. He added that the organization was outfitting the vessel with half a tonne of Kevlar to toughen it against the ice. “It has the endurance to go half way round the world on a tank of fuel,” he said. “They won’t get away from me.”
The Steve Irwin will also be receiving some love in the form of $500,000 in repairs and additions. Its buckled hull plates have been repaired (after clashes earlier this year with the Japanese), and a powerful water cannon has been added on the bow to match the whalers’.
Finally, the organization confirmed that the Animal Planet television crew will be back to film season three of the popular show Whale Wars. “We are taking the most powerful anti-whaling weapon at our disposal: a film crew,” said Laurens de Groot, a Sea Shepherd Netherlands Director. “The cameras are more powerful than cannons and our ammunition is the naked truth about illegal whaling. We intend to keep the focus on Japanese crimes and we intend to sink the Japanese whaling fleet – economically.”